Although many companies want to hire people with disabilities, some may not be sure where to find qualified candidates. Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), says the key to proactive outreach and recruitment is developing relationships with a variety of sources.
Examples from the ODEP of best practices for disability-inclusive outreach and recruitment include:
- Partnering with state and local service providers, such as vocational rehabilitation agencies, American Job Centers, Centers for Independent Living and other community-based organizations
- Participating in employer networking groups (such as Disability:IN)
- Attending career fairs for people with disabilities and/or posting vacancies on targeted job boards
- Ensuring mentoring and internship opportunities are inclusive.
As most companies likely already have people with disabilities on staff, whether they realize it or not, they should review their policies and processes. Examples of best practices related to disability-inclusive talent acquisition and retention include:
- Adopting a promotion policy that includes disability among positive selection factors
- Ensuring representation of existing employees with disabilities in the onboarding process, for example, as part of orientation presentations and welcome committees
- Including language about how to request reasonable accommodations in notices about professional development opportunities
- Maintaining employee assistance programs (EAPs) and disability management and prevention
(stay-at-work/ return-to-work) programs.
Watch the video below for more tips on hiring workers with disabilities.
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